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Missing Actress Found Dead in Ravine

Uncle finds Misty Upham's body after she disappeared Oct. 6
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2014 4:30 AM CDT
Missing Actress Found Dead in Ravine
In this May 17, 2013, file photo, actress Misty Upham arrives to a screening at the 66th international film festival in Cannes, southern France.   (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Native American actress Misty Upham has been found dead in the woods of Auburn, Wash., after family reported her missing on Oct. 6. A three-man search party led by Upham's uncle discovered her body at the bottom of a 150-foot embankment; her purse and identification were also found at the scene, the Seattle Times reports. The 32-year-old's breakout role was in the indie drama Frozen River, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination, Deadline reports. Upham also appeared in Django Unchained, Cake, and August: Osage County alongside Meryl Streep, who tells the Hollywood Reporter "all our thoughts are with her family and with her beautiful spirit."

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A cause of death hasn't been determined, but police tell the BBC there's no evidence indicating foul play. Upham's family called police the day before she went missing to say she was suicidal and off her medication for bipolar disorder, but she had left her sister's apartment before police arrived; that was the last time her family saw her. Still, her father said Sunday he didn't believe his daughter took her own life and "the family has stated that, after seeing the body, they still do not feel that Misty Upham committed suicide," filmmaker Tracy Rector says. "The main thing her family wants people to know is that the Auburn Police Department would not cooperate in looking for Misty," Rector tells Deadline, citing "a long history of police harassment and friction" with the Muckleshoot Reservation community. (Read more Misty Upham stories.)

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